Lukomskii (Lukomsky), Georgii Kreskent'evich (1884-1952)

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Graphic artist, architectural critic and historian. Lukomskii studied in the Architectural School at St. Petersburg's Academy of Arts. During travels through France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Poland, Lukomskii completed architectural sketches later shown in numerous exhibitions held in Europe and Russia. In 1909, a solo exhibition of his work was held in the editorial offices of Apollon, and his Italian sketches appeared alongside the first publication of Aleksandr Blok's "Verses on Italy" in Apollon (1910, No. 4). He was associated for a time with the World of Art and was acquainted with the art critic S. K. Makovskii. Lukomskii was devoted to the study and preservation of historic buildings and monuments of architecture, both urban and provincial, subjects to which he dedicated the majority of his drawings, critical writing and museum work in Russia and Europe. He was the author of articles, monographs and guidebooks on Russian and Ukrainian architecture. His articles appeared not only in Apollon, but also in Starye gody, Zodchii, Stolitsa i usad'ba, Iskusstvo v Iuzhnoi Rossi, among others. Following the revolution, Lukomskii was instrumental in the establishment of the Second State Museum of Kiev (1919-20). Lukomskii left Kiev for Europe, eventually settling in Paris. In emigration, Lukomskii continued to be an active participant in the arts: he organized and participated in many exhibitions; contributed to journals (such as Apollo, The Studio, and Beaux-Arts) and art publications, and worked as a foreign correspondent for several Soviet publications. He settled in London in 1940.(1) In this article, Lukomskii discusses etchings by Russian artist-architect, I. A. Fomin (1872-1936). In the introduction, he provides a brief historical overview of the development, decline, and revival of engraving and, especially, etching, with reference to European artists who helped foster the art form. Lukomskii then presents Fomin as an ideal etcher, who has restored the value of etching as a tool of the architect and as a means of creating valuable and distinctive works of art. He argues that Fomin's talent as both an artist and architect allows him to create outstanding etchings to illustrate his architectural projects that advance the Russian 'empire' or neoclassical style. Lukomskii does not limit his discussion of Fomin's work to architectural etchings; he also discusses the artist's landscape etchings. Many of the features of the artist's work that Lukomskii identifies as most laudable and promising - including his attraction to simplicity, monumentality and the heroic gesture - would become the very aspects of his style that would eventually earn Fomin a place in Soviet architectural history as a champion of Russian "proletarian classicism" and early Socialist Realism.

(Introduction and translation by Kelly Miller)

'Architecture in I.A. Fomin's Paintings'